Kingston Wharves to the rescue
Berths 8 and 9 at the Kingston Wharves were a hub of activity last Wednesday when the Northern Jubilee, a 330-metre container vessel, dropped anchor at the port terminal. The vessel was forced to adjust its schedule to call in Kingston because of the significant damage sustained by the Freeport Container Terminal in The Bahamas due to the passage of Hurricane Matthew.
The post-panamax container vessel arrived in Kingston at 6 p.m. on Wednesday and sailed out the following day. The Kingston Wharves team was prepared and ready to ensure that despite the unscheduled berthing, normal stevedoring would take place. The experienced and expert KW operations team and three of its mobile harbour cranes, which included its largest and most recent acquisition, a Liebherr LHM 550 crane, were on hand for the Northern Jubilee.
The Freeport Container Port is a major trans-shipment hub for a number of mega vessels, including Maersk. The port, however, sustained major damage due to the passage of Hurricane Matthew and is closed pending repairs. This has resulted in shipping lines, including Maersk, seeking alternative ports in the region, among which Kingston Wharves has been deemed suitable.
Kingston Wharves is currently in the midst of improvement works to increase its trans-shipment capacity and also position itself to accept calls from the mega vessels now using the expanded Panama Canal. These improvements ensured that the port was able to accommodate the Northern Jubilee, with its capacity of 8,400 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs).
Speaking about the importance of the vessel's call at Kingston, CEO of Kingston Wharves Grantley Stephenson said they were extremely pleased and proud to grab an opportunity such as the one presented by Maersk.
"Kingston Wharves has shown that our expansion programme is well placed to return on the investment made, based on our ability to accommodate a vessel as big as the Northern Jubilee at our terminal. this is an opportunity to showcase our capabilities and can-do attitude to a global audience and a global carrier" he added.
He continued, "This opportunity can only redound to the benefit of our terminal expansion and, ultimately, position ourselves as prime contenders in this competitive marketplace."
THE NEWEST ADDITION
For her part, Valrie Campbell, terminal manager who was at port side to welcome the vessel, said this call at the terminal indicated that they are "brokers of capability".
The Northern Jubilee has a capacity of 8,400 TEUs loaded in 17 container rows across. Berths 8 and 9, where the vessel docked, are the newest addition to the port, which is in expansion mode for the next five years.
Kingston Wharves will service several Maersk vessels in the coming weeks and is prepared to be of service to Maersk as a transshipment terminal going forward.
Kingston Wharves Limited (KWL) is the Caribbean's leading multipurpose, multi-user port terminal operator, providing the region's importers and exporters with a broad range of cargo-handling and logistics services, and connections to more than 20 international ports in the Caribbean, Latin and North America.
The transformation of the KWL Group has been more than 70 years in the making. The company's current expansion and modernisation projects will maintain its competitive position in the region, while providing first-class logistics services to drive its transition to a lead logistics provider. KWL's strategic location, highly connected port terminal services and modern logistics facilities operating under special economic zone status, offer advantageous value propositions to its clients to streamline efficiencies in cargo supply chains.
For more information visit www.kingstonwharves.com.